2020 utah legislature

KPCW Radio

 

 

As the sixth special session of the Utah Legislature begins today, a state legislative committee has forwarded positive support for the repeal of 14 lines of text in HB 359 that allowed for the town in Wasatch County to annex 655 acres of property in Summit County without Summit County’s approval.

 

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert wears a blue mask as he stands by during a press briefing on COVID-19 earlier this year.
Pool photo

 

Utah lawmakers are reportedly grappling behind the scenes whether to extend the state of emergency giving Utah Gov. Gary Herbert extraordinary governing power during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Lawmakers extended that state of emergency last in June, but that might not be the case when the order expires on Thursday. 

 

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The Utah State Legislature will assemble for its sixth special session of the year tomorrow, Thursday, Aug. 20, at 10 a.m.

 

A wide variety of urgent issues are on the table, including providing Utahns and businesses financial relief by waiving state income tax on PPP loans and CARES Act money, modifying the 2020 general election process, addressing issues related to public education funding and enrollment, and adjusting the 2021 state budget to further address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

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The Utah Legislature ended its 45-day general session at midnight Thursday. 

Heading into the 2020 general session near the end of January, the newly passed tax reform law loomed over legislators’ heads, as a citizen referendum gathered enough signatures to halt implementation of the law and put its fate to voters in November. Legislators repealed the tax law on the second day of the session.

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In 1979, the Utah Legislature passed the Inherent Risk to Skiing Act. Republican Sen. Dan Hemmert wants to update that decades-old law with this year’s Senate Bill 228. Hemmert says anyone who skis assumes a risk.

“You are putting on pieces of wood and metal that have a plastic base,” Hemmert said. “You’re getting on snow, and you’re going downhill, and you can go fast, and there are trees and rocks and other people, and things can happen.”

With more than 100 nonprofit organizations in Park City, odds are some of them have raised money through a raffle or drawing. But in doing so, they’ve technically been skirting the law.

Republican Sen. Dan McCay’s Senate Bill 242, Charitable Drawing Amendments, clarifies that drawings for charitable fundraising purposes are not prohibited by the state’s gambling restrictions.

Utah State Capitol
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Members of the Park City Council attended a policy meeting with the Utah League of Cities and Towns Monday. 

The Utah League of Cities and Towns represents hundreds of municipalities at the Utah Legislature. In the league’s last policy meeting of the 2020 general session, staff presented on bills related to homeless services, gambling and education funding. But Park City Manager Matt Dias says there’s nothing that’s setting off alarm bells for the city.

The Utah House Health and Human Services Committee voted in support of a bill that bans abortion, should the landmark court decision legalizing abortion be overturned. 

Meaghan Miller For House 54 Facebook page

In her 2018 run for Utah House District 54, Meaghan Miller narrowly lost to Republican Rep. Tim Quinn by 162 votes. As a Democrat, Miller believes representation for the district, which encompasses Park City, Heber City and other portions of Wasatch and Summit Counties, is lacking.

“I still feel that our state legislature is a super majority that is interested more in themselves than they are in their constituents," Miller said. "The only way to change that is to get in.”

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UPDATE: House Bill 222 is scheduled for another hearing in the Senate Economic Development Committee on Monday, March 9 at 10 a.m.

A bill aimed to increase school breakfast access to 16,000 Utah students failed in a legislative committee Wednesday, after passing with bipartisan support from the full House. 

ABC 4 Meterologist Devon Lucie delivers his final weather forecast on KPCW. He's moving to Denver for a new job. Deputy Summit County Manager Janna Young has an update on some of the legislative issues Summit County is watching this session. Park City Councilmember Nann Worel has a recap of last night's meeting and Dr. Mark Hyman talks about his presentation tonight at the Christian Center and his new book, Food Fix – How to Save Our Health, Our Economy, Our Communities and Our Planet – One Bite at a Time.

Statewide non-profit organizations met at the Utah Capitol Monday to show support for early childhood education and childcare programs. 

Advocates for early childhood education and childcare gathered in the Capitol Rotunda to express their support, including Abby Cox, the wife of Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox.

“We talk about infrastructure and maintaining a high quality of life in our state," Cox said. "Nothing could be more important than building the infrastructure of our early childhood education system.”

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox and other key stakeholders met Monday to update media on the state’s response to COVID-19, known as coronavirus. Herbert says the risk is currently low in Utah, but the state has activated its emergency operations center.

“We’re hoping for the very best outcome with minimal impact on our communities, but we're preparing for the worst, just in case,” Herbert said.

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The Utah Senate Monday passed a bill that would prohibit abortion except in specific cases, after intense debate and an initial vote on Friday. 

“I am a mother of four beautiful, amazing children," said Meredith Reed, a Jeremy Ranch resident and chair of the Summit County Democratic Party. "I love being a mother, and when my husband and I were newlyweds, we had just moved to Utah and found out we were expecting our first child, and at the very first ultrasound we attended [we] discovered that there was a fetal abnormality.”

Utah Sen. Allen Christensen talks about his 15 year part-time career at the Utah Legislature and some of the bills he’s running this year.Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post Journalist Eli Saslow talks about some of the topics he’ll be presenting as he takes the Eccles Center stage on Saturday and Lara Carlton has this week’s U.S. Ski and Snowboard Report.

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